Frank Wolf (R-VA) will be Chairman of the House
Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce,
Justice, State, and the Judiciary (CJS). This Subcommittee has
within its jurisdiction most of the executive branch agencies
involved in technology related matters, including the FCC,
FTC, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of
Justice (DOJ), and Department of Commerce (DOC). The FCC is evolving
from a New Deal era telecom regulator into a broad
communications and Internet regulatory agency. The FTC
has antitrust authority, and is increasingly becoming involved
in online consumer fraud and online privacy issues. The SEC
facilitates online stock trading, and polices Internet
securities fraud. The DOJ's Antitrust Division
brought the Microsoft antitrust case, and handles other
antitrust matters. The DOJ also is the location of the NIPC,
which alerts of, and responds to, viruses and other threats.
The DOJ also has the CCIPS,
which on rare occasions prosecutes computer related crimes and
intellectual property crimes. The DOC
is home to the NTIA,
which has spectrum management authority (including a lead role
in identifying and allocating spectrum for 3G wireless
services), and which awards grants to facilitate broadband
Internet access deployment in underserved areas. The DOC is
also home to the USPTO,
which is funded solely by user fees. For years, the
Appropriations Committees, and the Congress, have been
diverting some of these fees to subsidize other government
programs, over the stringent opposition of the intellectual
property communities. In June of 2000 Rep. Wolf voted in favor
of Rep. Coble's amendment to reduce the amount of the
diversion. Rep. Wolf represents a district in northern
Virginia that is home to many high tech workers and tech
companies, and can be expected to be more supportive of a high
tech agenda than his predecessor.
Billy Tauzin (R-LA), the newly selected Chairman of the House Commerce Committee
named Ken Johnson to be the Communications Director and
Spokesman for the Committee. Johnson has been the press
assistant in Rep. Tauzin's office for eight years. Prior to
that he worked as a journalist, including as a news director,
news anchor and political reporter for TV stations.
1/9. The Software and
Information Industry Association (SIIA) urged the Senate
to confirm Rod Paige as Secretary of Education. SIIA
President Ken Wasch also advocated dedicating "resources
to train a new generation of high-tech workers, including
through public-private partnerships that provide opportunities
and relevant curriculum" See, release.
Paige has been the Superintendent of the Houston Independent
School District (HISD) since 1994. He was elected to the HISD
Board of Education in 1989 and served as its President in
1992. Previously, he was Dean of the College of Education at
Texas Southern University.
in ASCENT v. FCC, 1/9 (TXT, USCA).
for patent infringement against Applied Materials, 1/8 (PDF,
of the 6 month negotiation period for the adjustment of
royalty rates, 1/9 (TXT, FedReg).
by Jackson Day on accounting procedures, 1/8 (HTML, SEC).
|Quote of the Day
|"... tortured statutory interpretation ..."
Judge Laurence Silberman, describing the FCC's
construction of the Telecom Act of 1996 in his opinion
in ASCENT v. FCC, Jan. 9.
|1/9. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion
v. FCC vacating the FCC's order in its SBC
Ameritech merger proceeding permitting SBC to offer advanced
services, such as DSL, through a separate affiliate. Judge
Silberman, writing for a unanimous three judge panel,
wrote: "... Congress did not treat advanced services
differently from other telecommunications services. ... It did
not limit the regulation of telecommunications services to
those services that rely on the local loop. For that reason
the Commission may not permit an ILEC to avoid § 251(c)
obligations as applied to advanced services by setting up a
wholly owned affiliate to offer those services. Whether one
concludes that the Commission has actually forborne or whether
its interpretation of "successor or assign" is
unreasonable, the conclusion is the same: The Commission's
interpretation of the Act's structure is unreasonable. The
order of the Federal Communications Commission is
vacated." The ASCENT, a national trade association
representing telecommunications providers and resellers,
opposed the merger application, and filed a petition for
review of the FCC order
approving the merger
of Ameritech and SBC. The order allowed the merged company to
avoid statutory resale obligations on certain advanced
telecommunications services by providing those services
through a subsidiary. The FCC determined that advanced
services are telecommunications services like any others and
may not be provided by an ILEC unless the ILEC complies with
§ 251(c). However, FCC relied on the "successor or
assign" language of the statute to create an exception
for separate affiliates.
filed an application with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities
Commission in which it stated that it plans to file a Section
271 application with the FCC to offer long
distance service in the state. See, release.
1/9. Novell announced
that the U.S. District Court (EDCal)
awarded it over $600,000 in a case against Chris Bonner for copyright
infringement. Bonner used alias accounts on eBay's auction
site to sell unlicensed copies of Novell's Net services
software. See, release.
1/9. The Copyright
Office (CO) published in the Federal Register an announcement
of the six month negotiation period for the adjustment of
royalty rates and terms for the public performance of
copyrighted sound recordings by preexisting subscription
services and preexisting satellite digital audio radio
services. The announcement also requests parties participating
in the negotiations to notify the CO. See, Federal Register,
Jan. 9, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 6, pages 1700 - 1701.
1/9. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) heard oral argument in Sunrise
Telecom v. Electrodata, Appeal No. 00-1017. This is an
appeal from a final judgment of the U.S. District Court (NDCal)
in a patent infringement case. The trial court found
infringement of a patent concerning hand held telecom line
1/8. Jackson Day, Deputy Chief Accountant of the SEC gave
titled "Current Activities of the Office of the Chief
Accountant" in which he discussed revenue recognition
and other hot issues at the SEC.
1/8. The USPTO's Office
of Enrollment and Discipline extended from Jan. 5, 2001, to
Friday, Jan. 12, 2001, the deadline for filing complete
applications for admission to the registration examination
being given on April 18, 2001. See, notice
|Editor's Note: This column includes all News Briefs
added to Tech Law Journal since the last Daily E-Mail Alert.
The date indicates when the event occurred, not the date of
posting to Tech Law Journal.
filed a complaint [PDF]
in U.S. District Court (DMass)
Materials alleging patent infringement regarding an
invention for making semiconductor devices. Both Axcelis and
Applied make ion
implantation equipment. Axcelis owns U.S.
Patent No. 4,667,111, titled "Accelerator for Ion
Implantation", which claims an invention for high energy
ion implantation devices using rf LINAC technology. Axcelsis
alleges that Applied's recently launched ion implanter called
"SWIFT" infringes this patent. Count 1 alleges
infringement of the patent in suit. Count 2 alleges tortious
interference with contract. Axcelsis alleges that the
inventor, Hilton Glavish, signed a contract to "do
everything legally possible to aid" Axcelsis and to
"obtain and enforce patent protection in all
countries", and that Applied caused Glavish to breach
this contract, by having him assist in the development of the
infringing machine. Count 3 alleges tortious interference with
prospective advantageous business relationships. Count 4
alleges unfair competition and unfair trade practices.
Axcelsis seeks a declaration that Applied has infringed its
patent, a preliminary and permanent injunction against
infringement, an injunction against interfering with
contractual business relationships and unfair competition, and
money damages. Axcelsis is represented by Thomas
Holt of the Boston office of the law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart. See
|10:00 AM. Oral argument before the U.S. Court of
Appeals (FedCir) in Intellectual Property
Development v. TCI Cablevision of California.
This is an appeal from a final judgment of the U.S. District
in a patent infringement case. The patent in suit
relates to hybrid coax fiber architecture. The trial court
dismissed on the grounds that the appellant lacked standing to
sue. Both sides appealed. (The basis upon which the suit is
dismissed bears upon the application of six years damages
window provided by 35 U.S.C. 286). Location: Federal Circuit,
717 Madison Place (on LaFayette Square), Courtroom 402.
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's Legislation Committee
will host a Brown Bag Lunch. Paula Ford, assistant to
Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC), and Paul Margie, assistant
to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) will speak. Location: National
Public Radio, 635 Massachusetts Ave. NW. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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